UN chief calls for ‘prompt, peaceful’ transition in Libya

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon Wednesday called for a unified international action to ensure “prompt and peaceful transition” in Libya.

Ban cut short his trip to Los Angles and returned to New York Wednesday morning to address the current developments in North Africa and the Middle East, Xinhua reported.

The secretary-general told reporters that he had discussed the current situation with Arm Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, and sending UN under-secretary-general for political affairs B. Lynne Pasco to Egypt.

“At this critical juncture, it is imperative that the international community maintain unity and act together to ensure a prompt and peaceful transition,” Ban said.

Meanwhile, “We are closely watching developments in Bahrain, Yemen and other countries,” he said. “We viewed the recent events in Libya with particularly grave concern. The current situation is unpredictable and could go in any number of directions, many of them dangerous.”

Inspired by protests in Tunisia and Egypt, Libyan protesters took to the streets last week in a bid to put an end to the 41-year rule of President Muammar Gaddafi, plunging the North African country into chaos and bloodshed.

“I want to underscore what my special advisers said yesterday on the prevention of genocide and responsibility to protect,” Ban said. “The reported nature and scale of effects of the attacks on civilians are egregious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

“I condemn them loudly … and those who are responsible must be held accountable in courts of law,” he added.

Earlier Wednesday, Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters that “the secretary-general is back in New York where he will meet with senior advisors shortly to discuss the situation in North Africa and the Middle East.”

Nesirky said that Ban has voiced his approval of Tuesday’s press statement by the 15-nation UN Security Council that condemned the use of force against civilians in Libya and called on the government to address the demands of the Libyan people.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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